Changeover is a great two day period here at camp. Having a camp with only 90 or so kids in it allows us to do some things that we normally would not be able to do because of our numbers. On the first day we all enjoyed Medieval Day here at camp complete with jousting tournaments, a giant trebuchet, axe throwing, shield making and a massive feast with no plates or silverware (a boy’s dream!!!)….of course the day was topped off with a flotilla to the Dairy Queen. And yesterday, got to sleep in, then travelled to a local state park for some swimming and barbeque, and then the boys got head into Duluth to a hotel waterpark for the evening. The trip to the waterpark, while fun, confirmed my suspicion about camp over waterparks….the boys I spoke to said that the waterpark slides were fun, but they had the most fun inventing their own games at the waterpark! Great stuff! Still….by the end of Changeover, we all start to feel like we are missing something….
Well, we are missing it no longer. Within the past hour and a half we have been infused here with 100 doses of pure energy! Campers arriving from Chicago, Idaho, California, New York, Germany, France, Shanghai, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, England and elsewhere have arrived to begin their summers at camp. The pent-up excitement of over a month’s anticipation is evident in these guys. Within minutes of the boy’s health screenings at the infirmary, the four-square courts, ping pong tables, tennis courts, and village areas were absolutely abuzz with activity. Camp is full of nothing but smiles, laughs, and screams. The way it should be.
LET THIS SERVE AS YOUR OFFICIAL NOTICATION THAT ALL OF THE BOYS THAT WERE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE TODAY, HAVE DONE SO AND ARE SAFELY AT CAMP.
In my every other day ode to how special our staff and campers are, I wanted to share some of the beauty of what I saw at the airport today. First off, I got to witness the logistical wizardry of our assistant director, Joe Briggs, as he pulled off yet another nearly hitchless set of travel days. If you think about the number of balls that he has in the air at one time, it is truly incredible that things go as smoothly as they do…..and they go that smoothly….every time. Second, it was great to see the energy of our staff at the airport. You might think that it would be tough for the staff to work up the energy to connect with our brand-new campers with the same degree of enthusiasm as at the very beginning of the summer. To be honest, I worry about that every year….needlessly. I got to see our truly terrific staff connect in playful ways, in sensitive ways, and in raucous ways with the boys as they arrived at the airport and from an extended trip up from Chicago (sorry Chicago folks….next time I will tell the bus driver that the Toys R Us parking lot is exempt from the concept of an “Idle Free Zone!”). Through their experience, our staff was able to identify which kids needed what, and, as ever, they delivered.
Tonight’s dinner will be our classic comfort food meal of spaghetti, followed by an evening of what we call “nesting.” The boys will be unpacking their belongings and setting up their areas in their cabins. Each boy puts his own touch on his area so that it feels comfortable to him. The combination of each boy’s different styles mesh together to create a new and real home in each cabin…a home that will serve as the base for stories, adventures, trials, mayhem, and great times over the course of the next four weeks. They are all psyched, and so am I!
If you are new to these “updates” you can expect to hear about the goings on at camp every other day on this page. While I can never adequately convey to you what it really feels like up here, I will do my best to share as much as I can in order to give you some sense of what is going on. To be clear, this is not done to make you jealous; it is to try to help you understand something of your son’s experience. I am looking forward to sharing it with you…
All is well in the North Woods….